Kerwin Charles named Beinecke Professor of Economics, Policy and Management

Charles is a world-renowned economist and award-winning educator whose work examines a range of topics in labor and applied economics.
Kerwin Charles
Kerwin Charles (Photo by Tony Rinaldo)

Kerwin K. Charles, a world-renowned economist and award-winning educator whose work examines a range of topics in labor and applied economics, has been appointed the Frederick W. Beinecke Professor of Economics, Policy & Management, effective immediately.

Since 2019 Charles has been the Indra K. Nooyi Dean & Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Economics, Policy & Management at the Yale School of Management (SOM).

During his scholarly career, Charles has studied and published on topics including earnings and wealth inequality, conspicuous consumption, labor market discrimination, the intergenerational transmission of economic status, the determinants of unionization, non-work among prime-aged persons, and the labor market consequences of housing bubbles, sectoral change, and international trade.

Before coming to Yale, he was the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergmann Distinguished Service professor at the University of Chicago.

Among other professional duties, Charles has served as the vice president of the American Economics Association and is on the board of several academic and nonprofit entities. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is an elected fellow of the Society of Labor Economics; of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

At the Yale School of Management, Charles has built vibrant programs around areas of signature strength, such as the Broad Center, home to a master’s degree in public education management, and the Fellowship for Public Education Leadership. He also oversaw the creation of the Swensen Asset Management Institute and the Program on Stakeholder Innovation and Management; the expansion of the Program on Social Enterprise, Innovation, and Impact; and the launch of the Meng Impact Investment Fund — all programs that seek to teach students how the tools of business can contribute positively to society.

Under his leadership, the MBA for Executives program established a new pathway for students interested in general management, and Charles oversaw the launch of the master’s in asset management degree. This fall, the school will debut a new master’s in technology management in partnership with the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, representing an extension of its collaboration with colleagues across Yale.

Charles has also worked to strengthen the SOM faculty by formalizing efforts to mentor junior faculty and by deliberately investing in the intellectual and collegial environment of the school. He has increased research support and other key resources for faculty recruitment.

He also created the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, and he convened the Council on Anti-racism and Equity, whose work has led to a reassessment of art in Edward P. Evans Hall and a colloquium series that brings diverse leaders to campus. He led the launch of affinity groups seeking to reengage alumni and has broadened Yale’s engagement with New Haven in ways that have produced mutual benefit, including the Center for Inclusive Growth.

Charles received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and earned both his master’s degree and his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

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